Fronted by Brandon Hanick, King of Prussia, and rounding out the rest with guitar player Vasco Batista and drummer, Simon Mille. They all met in Barcelona and began to record what will be the band's first double album, Zonian Girls, that releases on April 8, 2014. The album is somewhat of a concept album, but wasn't intentional. Says Hanick, "It just so happened that half of the songs represent the lighter side of the human psyche (love, joy, and ‘whitewashed afternoons’), while the other half represent, well…the other half (the loss of love, woe, and ‘the dark side of town’)."Work on the album was completed in the band's birthplace; Athens, GA and was a full, musical-affair with music lovers and enthusiasts who helped in the creation of this special album. We had the opportunity to chat with Hanick about their connections with an audience, their musical and creative muses, history with music and much more. Read our interview below:
How do you guys connect your music with an audience?
Brandon: By leaving it all out on the stage even though we play kinda "wussy rock." There's usually a lot of sweat and sometimes some blood. But we play indie pop. It's kinda weird actually, but I love injecting a lot of energy into our live show. That and I think MySpace is a great tool for bands. Hopefully MySpace's popularity continues for years to come.
Who are your muses, musically and creatively?
Brandon: Friends, bands of friends, girls, Belle and Sebastian, Magnetic Fields, Elephant 6 bands, Neil Young, Harry Nilsson, Donovan, The Kinks, Pernice Brothers, Beatles, Beach Boys, The Stones, The Who, The Smiths, The Shins, Built to Spill, Ween, Merit, The Fakers, Actuaries, Cities by the Sea, Deans & Photographers, Every Girl, 1,000 Leagues, The Lake Shore, Magic, Haunted Air, Dance, Papa Noel, Whitewashed Afternoons, Time Machines, Chain Smokin' Women, Instructions from the Crown, Cardinals, The Shakes, Arabian Thoroughbreds, Monday Morning Prophets, The Ghost of L'Estartit, Haunted Bedrooms, NYC, Rec Parks, Dia de Los Muertos, Love on the Metro, The Hook in All My Favorite Songs, Post Rock, Exploding Suns, Fellow Countrymen, Remnants of The Scene, Civilian Urban Guard, Peacetime, The Meantime...
What's your early history with music?
Brandon: The bands I would listen on repeat when I was about 4 years old were The Police, Dire Straits, Van Halen and The Who. I was a little rocker. My tastes have mellowed out a lot since then. I actually wrote my first songs before I could physically write. I would dictate the lyrics to my dad and he would write them. When we found them years later we knew they were songs and not poetry because of all the "doo-doo-doo's" and "ba-ba-ba's" I threw in. I still use those a lot in my songwriting. Then when I was about 8 or 9 I got really into rap--I would play tapes by artists like Kool Moe Dee, The Fat Boys and Tone Loc--I really loved all the "party" rap stuff and even started writing rap songs under the moniker "De Yung Boyz." I was the only member of the group. In high school I had a punk band and then an 8-piece ska band called The Logicians. We were actually pretty awesome. I listened to a lot of classic rock and some of the seminal indie bands like Dinosaur, Jr. and Pavement. Then I went to college and was finally exposed to some more of the indie classics like Belle and Sebastian, Magnetic Fields and Built to Spill. I grew up in Florida, so I was kind of a late bloomer in that respect. In college I had a few different bands--Flotilla 13, The Shivers and The Dittos. Then I moved to Athens, started a band called Beijing and eventually started King of Prussia. That's been the moniker since 2007. I'm thinking of recording some of De Yung Boyz' songs.
What are top five albums and/or artists you wouldn't want to live without?
Neil Young--After the Gold Rush
Magnetic Fields--69 Love Songs
Belle and Sebastian--If You're Feeling Sinister
Built to Spill--Perfect from Now On
Who was your first concert and do you have a favorite?
First concert memory was my parents taking me to The Turtles when I was five or so. I don't know if they were even playing with original members by that time. My first concert that I went to without parents, was Green Day when I was 13. My friends and I moshed. They only played for like 35 minutes. It was awesome. Not sure if I have one favorite show of all time, but Flaming Lips at the 40 Watt in Athens right after The Soft Bulletin came out is definitely up there. I had goosebumps for pretty much the entirety of their set. Might've cried a bit. I saw them years later at Primavera Sound playing to like 50,000 people. It was equally as amazing, but in a totally different way. They're a different band now, which is cool.
Grab tickets to their upcoming show at The Evening Muse HERE.
Follow and connect: